It is said that crafts can provide a foundation for future learning by developing higher thinking skills, enhancing multicultural understandings, building self esteem, gaining positive emotional responses to learning and engaging through a variety of learning styles. Surely Elliott can gain these benefits in a different way? I hope so, I’m almost certain he can.
I’m not going to give up just yet though, nor am I going to force art and crafts onto Elliott. I’m going to give him some more options and if he still isn’t interested, well I’ll just leave it at that.
I’ve looked for some different ideas to the traditional arts and crafts and I’m hoping that introducing these ideas could possibly ignite Elliott’s interest in arts and crafts.
Here are some ideas I’ve come across that I’m going to try:
- Take the craft outside, like painting rocks or painting on the grass instead of a table inside.
- Leave out some new materials that Elliott has never seen before, it might just spark his inquisitiveness.
- Run with his interest of ‘building things’ and introduce cardboard boxes and recycled materials for him to build with and then paint and/or draw on like this Cardboard Car Wash or Cardboard Box Train– this is being creative and artsy too!
- Draw on windows with dry erase markers, this is something totally different than the usual drawing on paper.
- Whenever I’ve put out paint and paper, Elliott always ends up painting his hands and feet. Next time I will try turning this into an activity where he can put his footprints and hand prints onto some butchers paper. In the past, I just haven’t been set up for this type of painting.
- Try some non-traditional painting with things like a cotton bud, toothbrush, stick, toilet roll etc.
- Try painting and/or gluing food items like popcorn, macaroni or noodles.
- Try using his matchbox cars as a painting tool – drive through the paint and make tracks.
- Use his Mega Blocks to paint and make patterns.
- Walk around the garden with him and collect sticks and leaves to create a collage, this way his involvement may encourage some creativity instead of the materials already being there.
In saying all of this, as a parent, I probably need to just chill out and remember that children find their own way and become their own person in their own time. Although I can provide him with things to help him discover, I cannot force him into his interests.
Update: Two years after writing this post at four and a half years old, I can say that Elliott is still not overly ‘arty’ and gravitates more towards building things. He particularly a huge love of LEGO. To me this is a reflection of who he is and where his interests lie and I’m more than happy to run with this.